Capitol Notebook: Lawmakers aim to block state deals with anti-gun and anti-fossil fuel firms

Capitol Notebook: Lawmakers aim to block state deals with anti-gun and anti-fossil fuel firms

The Oklahoma Legislature is moving to prevent the state from contracting with businesses that “discriminate” against gun makers and entities that boycott fossil fuel companies. Two bills that cleared the Senate last week could limit the companies with which the state does business. House Bill 3144, authored by Rep. Kevin West, R-Moore, and Sen. Casey Murdock, R-Felt, would prohibit the state from entering into six-figure contracts with banks if those lenders’ policies have qualifying conditions when loaning money to gun manufacturers. Murdock said some banks will not lend money to gun manufacturers that produce certain types of weapons or those that sell long rifles to people under the age of 21. “Today, the firearm industry is being attacked and discriminated against simply because of manufacturing firearms,” Murdock said. During the floor presentation of the bill, Murdock cited several corporations that would be impacted by the bill, including Bank of America, Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, PNC, PayPal and General Electric Credit Union. “I’m saying these banks in New York City should not be pushing gun policy,” he said. Senate Democrats voiced concerns that the bill undermines the free market and could force the state to work with smaller banks that cannot offer pricing that’s as competitive as larger institutions. They also expressed concerns the bill could violate free speech protections in the First Amendment. Murdock acknowledged that using smaller banks could potentially cost the state an additional $64,000 on a contract. “I’m not willing to submit my district to […]

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